|The Semi-Detached House|
While Eden does discuss social situations as impacted by the economic context (bank crisis and swindlers), she does not go as deeply into the vast changes brought about by technological and socio-economic change as she does in the case of My Lady Ludlow and North and South.
For me, Emily Eden is something of light-hearted and modest antecedent of some of Anthony Trollope's work, namely The Way We Live Now (according to many, his masterpiece), in the sense that it satirizes society and the types of people bred by them.
Some of the elements of the Semi-Detached House that made the book memorable to me:
1. Details of daily life in the early 19th century
2. Description of going into labor and childbirth (Lady Chester)
3. The shamelessness of a swindler and he and his wife's extravagant lifestyle; the betrayal of trust
4. A morose brother-in-law (and the traditions of mourning, etc.)
5. The upward mobility and opportunities provided by becoming a captain of a merchant vessel
6. The potential for positive transformation by means of friendship (casting off playing a part of morose mourning, and allowing one's cynicism / defensive carapace to break down a bit)
Eden's later work, The Semi-Attached Couple, is a darker look at human nature in relationships, replete with the pain of misinterpretations and gossip.
Eden, who spent time in India, also wrote letters that chronicled her travels. The book, Up the Country is available via Project Gutenberg. Her Letters from India are available atA Celebration of Women Writers.